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Taipower accused of hiding plans for nuclear waste site in Hualien

2012/04/16 23:28:08

Taipei, April 16 (CNA) Opposition lawmakers accused state-owned Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower) on Monday of "flat out lying" for saying that a geological exploration project in Hualien County was not related to finding a site to store radioactive waste from the country's nuclear power plants.

Lawmakers grilled Taipower President Lee Han-shen during a legislative hearing on the company's statement Sunday that the project in Hualien was for research purposes only.

The deluge of criticism came after Taipower, which runs the country's nuclear power plants, was found to be secretly conducting the geological exploration project near the remote town of Sioulin, which some alleged was to pave the way for building a nuclear waste storage facility there.

Opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Hsiao Bi-khim urged Taipower to fully disclose its plan for the disposal of nuclear power waste, and to consult a domestic or international third party on the plan to give it credibility.

DPP Legislator Liu Chao-hao said the country should re-consider its policy for storing nuclear waste in remote townships.

He said the country's current nuclear waste facility on the offshore Orchid Island put residents there in a dilemma because they use little electricity but received compensation for hosting the facility.

"It is like selling their live organs," he said.

Taipower's Lee said the company picks nuclear waste facility sites based on a variety of considerations and does not have a predetermined stance on the issue.

(By Lin Mon-ru and Ann Chen)